New Zealand's Ardern increases parliamentary majority after final vote tally

FILE PHOTO: Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern addresses her supporters at a Labour Party event in Wellington, New Zealand, October 11, 2020. REUTERS/Praveen Menon

SYDNEY (Reuters) – New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s centre-left government has increased its parliamentary majority after the results of postal and other special circumstance votes bolstered her already decisive Oct. 17 election victory.

Ardern’s Labour Party increased its majority to 65 seats from 64 in the 120-seat assembly, according to NZ Electoral Commission results released on Friday. The official results included an additional 500,000 special votes, which include ballots mailed in from overseas.

The main opposition National Party dropped two seats to 33 in parliament after the additional votes were added. The Maori Party, representing the indigenous community which is about 15% of the population, picked up an additional seat to secure two representatives in the new parliament.

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